On June 15, a judicial panel consolidated 10 federal lawsuits, mostly class actions, against the Chinese manufacturers into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Orleans before U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon. Becnel, who represents plaintiffs in one of those class actions and fought for a New Orleans venue, says this bodes well for timely resolution of the federal drywall cases, likely a global settlement. He's faced Fallon before, including in the massive Vioxx MDL that resulted in a global settlement.
Another potential litigation speed bump will be for the plaintiffs targeting the Chinese manufacturers to get to those foreign companies. Doing so is "harder--big-time harder," says Becnel, who has succeeded in bringing actions against Chinese companies in the past.